4.03.2010

And All the Reptiles Came Out to Play

Thursday was my day off and we found ourselves out on the pond. It was a beautiful, warm day and it seemed that all sorts of reptiles had come out to play...

 
Gator resting on a log, unperturbed by all the passersby.

 
A male fence lizard spent some time running up and down along a fallen tree, even running under me at one point!  I didn't know what had him in such a tizzy until I spied another male fence lizard on the root ball of the fallen tree.  Aha!  Game on!!

 
There was much running hither and yon and male posturing.  They showed off their respective blueness, impressed each other with push-ups, and tussled a bit before one of them ran off.  I'm not sure why the winner won, but that doesn't matter seeing as how I am not a female fence lizard ;)

 
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In the transition area between the pond and the swamp we found quite a few brown water snakes.  Some were small and content to curl up on spindly saplings...

 
while others enjoyed a swim -- the water really brings out the pattern and colors of the snake.

 
This one opted for a fluffier resting spot in amongst a clump of Spanish moss...

 
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while this one found a shrub more to its liking.


 
This one sought sun on multiple levels and kept an eye on us as we paddled past.

But perhaps the oddest reptile of the day was this little fellow...look closely, he's in there...
 

We had paddled up next to a decaying tree trunk because I wanted to get a picture of a dragonfly that had just emerged. The wind was blowing and we were having trouble getting to the right spot so I reached out to steady us. As I reached for the tree I noticed something black pushing itself out from behind the bark. I drew my hand back a bit and reached for my reading glasses...what the heck was that thing? My attention was so focused on the black object that I failed to notice I was being watched. Seems a little stinkpot had wedged himself up behind the bark of the tree with his plastron facing out toward the bark. The black object that I had taken to be some sort of alien, tentacled slug, was rather the back leg of said stinkpot.  The whole episode made us all laugh.  The turtle, however,  was not amused and dropped down into the water.

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7 comments:

Woodswalker said...

Wow! What a great reptilian day!

Wilma said...

Love the snake in the spanish moss.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire said...

I love your amazing collection of reptiles, and particularly admire all the snakes in trees. Great shots!

jason said...

Holy cow! What a collection. Sure proves that a little warmth goes a long way.

And I laughed about the stinkpot!

Murr Brewster said...

I admit to being more of a salamander afficionado, but I've always had trouble telling when turtles ARE amused.

swamp4me said...

woodswalker,
It was an excellent day! The snakes have been a bit slow to come out this year so it was nice to see all the browns out sunning.

wilma,
I once spied a cottonmouth's head sticking out from a clump of spanish moss. It seems to be a favorite hangout for the water snakes ;)

jason,
I laughed hard over that stinkpot. He really had me perplexed for a moment.

Murr,
Turtles have such a dry and sophisticated sense of humor it can be difficult to tell when they are amused.

swamp4me said...

woodswoman,
It is a game with us to see who can spot the first snake among the limbs as we paddle. The browns are particularly fond of lying about in the bushes.